Isle of Wight Council

22 Nov 2022

Emergency works continue in Ventnor

Emergency works are continuing in Ventnor in a bid to stabilise the seawall and prevent further damage.

This week, specially engineered rock net sacks will be packed into the void that now extends under the eastern esplanade. Further works will take place to stabilise the seawall over the coming weeks.

The sacks will be linked together to help stabilise the coastal defences just beyond Ventnor Skatepark, where the partial collapse of two concrete panels is allowing material under the apron to be washed away.

The recent erosion has also exposed a sewer pipe which runs underneath the seawall, and which Southern Water has worked to protect with several large sandbags. 

With the apron continuing to move, Natasha Dix, the council's strategic manager for the environment and waste, said the area remained extremely dangerous and urged people to stay away for their own safety.

Speaking at a community meeting in Ventnor last week, she said the emergency works were likely to take several months to complete. Teams are awaiting the next low spring tide to be able to see the extent of the works needed.

"It's with a heavy heart I have to say that pedestrian access along the seawall may not be restored in the short-term," said Natasha.

"Currently, our teams are working collaboratively to carry out emergency works to try to stabilise this section of the revetment and prevent further damage and erosion.

"Once that has been achieved, we can then look to start urgent works to maintain the seawall and consider options for the promenade; we are already lining up coastal structural engineers for this purpose. We'll know more in the New Year as to what solutions can be considered. 

"Until then, I cannot stress strongly enough just how dangerous it is for anyone to try to gain access to the site.

"Although it may look safe, the large void could mean the concrete collapses at any moment; anyone who ignores the closure will be putting not just their own lives at risk, but those of the emergency services too."  

A section of the eastern cliffs revetment was closed on 3 November after a site inspection revealed a large void and cracking to part of the coastal defences.

Daily monitoring continues to take place with the council working in collaboration with the Environment Agency and Southern Water, as well as consulting with the Marine Conservation Society, Natural England and the Marine Management Organisation. 

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The void under eastern esplanade
The void under eastern esplanade
  • Specially engineered rock net sacks will be packed into the void that now extends under the eastern esplanade.
  • The area remains extremely dangerous, and people are urged to stay away for their own safety.
Isle of Wight, UK